Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Movie Review: Beginners
Beginners tells the story of Oliver, a man coming to terms with two life-changing events - his father coming out of the closet at age 75, after 44 years of marriage, and having to watch him deteriorate from terminal lung cancer only a few short years later. We see the story unfold three months after his father's death, through seamless flashbacks and screen-cuts of graphic images so the audience can actually feel Oliver's sadness through experiencing his memories.

While depressed and dealing with his loss, Oliver is coerced into attending a costume party with friends where he meets an unpredictable, young actress played by Mélanie Laurent. [Talk about a meet-cute, the woman he encounters has laryngitis and can't speak so their only interaction that night was through a notepad.] We get to watch their relationship blossom into love, although I don't suppose it would be too difficult to fall hard for a French-accented, gorgeous actress.

Fantastic performances all around with a stellar cast made up of Ewan McGregor, Inglourious Basterds' Mélanie Laurent (who was enchanting!), and Christopher Plummer. Plummer's performance was inspirational and heartbreaking, as a senior who has just come out-of-the-closet, embracing his new lifestyle only to die from cancer a few short years later. It was sort of beautiful seeing the way his relationship with a much younger boyfriend (Dr. Kovač from ER!) - made him act and feel instantly younger and full of life, even while dying. Honourable mention goes out to the adorable Jack Russell who managed to steal the scene on more than a few occasions - no one can resist a whimpering puppy.

Beginners opens June 3rd.

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